Cuisine - - FIONA SMITH -


The hot meringue/cold ice cream com­bi­na­tion of baked Alaska is a win­ner, but they can be fid­dly to put to­gether at the last minute. Here I have sim­pli­fied the whole process into a flat slice, so it takes only a few min­utes to whip up the meringue and grill the top. If you want to fin­ish the whole thing ahead of time, just gen­tly cover the slice – try­ing to keep the wrap off the meringue – and freeze for up to three days. Let sit at room tem­per­a­ture for five min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

50g but­ter, plus a lit­tle ex­tra for greas­ing 4 eggs

1¼ cup caster sugar

1 tea­spoon vanilla paste or ex­tract 100g self-rais­ing flour, sifted

¼ tea­spoon salt

500g frozen rasp­ber­ries

300ml cream freeze-dried rasp­ber­ries to gar­nish (op­tional)

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 30cm x 20cm Swiss roll tin with one piece of bak­ing paper, leav­ing a lit­tle over­hang (this will help you lift the slice out of the tin). Don’t worry about lin­ing the ends of the tin; just grease them with a lit­tle but­ter.

Put the but­ter in a saucepan and melt. Con­tinue to cook the but­ter un­til it be­comes golden brown – this will take about 2-3 min­utes – then re­move from the heat and pour into a cold bowl to stop the cook­ing process. Set aside.

Sep­a­rate 3 of the eggs, re­serv­ing the whites for the meringue. Whisk the 3 yolks with the re­main­ing whole egg then, while whisk­ing, add 1 ta­ble­spoon hot wa­ter and whisk for a minute un­til pale and creamy. While whisk­ing, grad­u­ally add ¼ cup of the sugar and ½ tea­spoon of the vanilla paste or ex­tract and whisk un­til thick and pale – about 5 min­utes.

Fold in the flour, salt and burnt but­ter un­til just com­bined. Spread into the tin and bake for 10-12 min­utes or un­til a skewer comes out clean. Lift the sponge out of the tin (keep the bak­ing paper stuck to the bot­tom) and cool on a rack, then re­turn to the tin (with the paper) and set aside.

To make the ice cream, put the frozen rasp­ber­ries in a food pro­ces­sor with ½ cup of the re­main­ing caster sugar. With the mo­tor run­ning, pour in the cream and blend to a thick ice cream tex­ture. Spread this over the cake base. Wrap well, if freez­ing for more than a day, and freeze un­til needed.

To serve, set the oven rack about 15cm from the grill and pre­heat the grill to high. Whisk the re­served egg whites to soft peaks then whisk in the re­main­ing ½ tea­spoon vanilla and the re­main­ing ½ cup caster sugar, a ta­ble­spoon at a time, un­til you have a stiff, glossy mix­ture. Re­move the tin from the freezer and cover the top with meringue us­ing a small spat­ula or knife. Grill for 30 sec­onds to 1 minute, keep­ing an eye on it, un­til golden. Cut into slices and serve topped with crum­bled freeze-dried rasp­ber­ries, if de­sired.

WINE A com­plex, lively lo­cal bub­bly – go for the Nau­tilus Es­tate Cu­vée Marl­bor­ough Brut NV.

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